Northeast Times

Picasso Project awards arts grants to 14 schools

The Pi­cas­so Pro­ject, a Pub­lic Cit­izens for Chil­dren and Youth mini grant pro­gram that brings arts edu­ca­tion to schools that have very lim­ited arts in­struc­tion, awar­ded more than $60,000 in grants to 14 Phil­adelphia schools, in­clud­ing Al­len Ste­arne Ele­ment­ary and Swen­son Arts & Tech­no­logy High School in North­east Phil­adelphia.

“Sadly, be­cause of a lack of fund­ing, stu­dents don’t get nearly the ex­pos­ure to arts pro­jects they need to tap their po­ten­tial,” said Gretchen Elise Walk­er, Dir­ect­or of Arts Edu­ca­tion for the Pi­cas­so Pro­ject.  “Our grant helps, but we need bet­ter state edu­ca­tion fund­ing to solve this di­lemma for the long term.”

A 2013 on­line sur­vey from Pi­cas­so Pro­ject grant win­ners found over­all school cli­mate in 98 per­cent of schools im­proved.  

Like­wise, 77 per­cent said their Pi­cas­so Pro­ject grant had a pos­it­ive or ex­tremely pos­it­ive im­pact on their school’s abil­ity to gain ad­di­tion­al arts re­sources.

The Pi­cas­so Pro­ject, foun­ded by PCCY in 2002, sup­ports in­nov­at­ive arts pro­jects through mini-grants at Phil­adelphia pub­lic schools and ad­voc­ates for long-term in­creases in arts edu­ca­tion for stu­dents.  

Since its in­cep­tion, the Pi­cas­so Pro­ject has provided a total of $462,000 to fund 121 arts pro­jects be­ne­fit­ting over 30,000 stu­dents in Phil­adelphia schools. ••

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